Sports Bet Montana goes live

Posted at 7:58 AM, Mar 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 09:58:30-04

The Montana Lottery Commission voted February 20 to approve the kinds of bets people can make, and which sports they can bet on, for “Sports Bet Montana.”

As of Wednesday, March 11, the program is now official and operating.

The lottery launched Sports Bet Montana in December, when it began accepting and processing sports wagering licenses. Since then, the lottery has licensed more than 100 sales agents and continues fine-tuning the communications and technology pieces that will power Sports Bet Montana in the market.

The approved professional and collegiate sports are: basketball, baseball, ice hockey, football, soccer, tennis, boxing/MMA, golf and motor sports.

Approved bets include: moneyline, over/under, in-game betting, parlay, spread, prop bets and future bets.

Here is a breakdown of the approved betting types and how they’ll work with Sports Bet Montana.

  • Moneyline bet: Moneyline is a term for the game/match winner. Money line is offered as a head to head bet with no spread. The player is betting on one side simply to win.
  • Over/under: Sometimes described as a total bet, over/under is a bet on the total combined score of both teams or player stats. The player selects if the total score for the event will be lower or higher than the line that is set.
  • In-game betting: this is when you place a bet on an event in a game while it is happening.
  • Parlay: A parlay bet allows the player to combine multiple bets together into one single wager. Players get increased odds if all their bets win; however, if any one of the bests lose, the entire wager is lost.
  • Prop bet: Proposition bets are wagers on a very specific outcome during an event that does not relate to the final score. For example, betting on a hole in one happening at the Masters Golf Tournament.
  • Spread: Spread or point spread is the number of points by which the better team is favored over the underdog.
  • Future bet: A future bet is made for an event that is taking place sometime in the future, usually on a team to win a series or a championship.

(NOVEMBER 21, 2019) The Montana Lottery on Thursday that Sports Bet Montana will be the name of its new sports wagering product. The news came at a regularly-scheduled meeting of the Montana Lottery Commission in Helena, which also approved the official rules governing parts of the Lottery’s sports wagering product.

The Montana Lottery expects to begin accepting applications by the end of the year from sales agents who want to offer Sports Bet Montana. "We’ve been working hard since May to create and build Sports Bet Montana,” said Lottery director Angela Wong said in a press release.

Bettors will have to gamble within establishments that have machines selling lottery tickets already — usually found in taverns or bars. Jennifer McKee, Montana Lottery communication manager, told MTN News in May 2019: “What that means for Montana is you won’t be seeing sports wagering at every grocery store and gas station that currently sells Montana Lottery. It will be only locations get a sports wagering license, and it will only [be] in locations where it makes sense."

The law prohibits any current Montana collegiate or professional coach, player, trainer, staff member or referee from making a bet on any sports game or event. Even athletes competing in sports like golf or rodeo are prohibited.

It's estimated that sports betting will raise $1.5 to $2 million in revenue for the state’s general fund and another $3 to $4 million for a school scholarship fund for science and technology learning.

The Lottery has been working toward launching sports betting since May, when a bill bringing sports wagering to Montana and placing it with the Lottery was signed into law . Part of the work of launching the new product involved drafting official state rules detailing how parts of the new product would be administered.

Under Montana law, the rules must go through a process designed to ensure the public has a voice in drafting the rules.

The process passed a major milestone on Thursday when the commission approved the rules. The rules must now be published in the Montana Administrative Register.